Kilkenny had a twenty-seven-point victory over Westmeath in the Leinster Senior Championship Semi-Final in TEG Cusack Park on Saturday last
Kilkenny raced into a 2-7 to 0-0 lead after just twenty-two minutes of the game, the goals coming from Dicksboro duo Aoife Prendergast and Jenny Clifford. Prendergast was on first at the weekend getting 2-6 in total. It took Westmeath twenty-four minutes to register their first score which came from the stick of Amelia Shaw and she followed it up quickly with a second but that’s as good as it got for the home side in the first half.
Kilkenny got off to the perfect start in the second half and with just one minute on the stadium clock, the Kittens had raised their third green flag of the day. Aoife Prendergast was on the end of a smashing move that started in Midfield before Katie Nolan got on the end of a pass and with a looping handpass over the top of the Westmeath defenders found the awaiting Prendergast who buried the ball to the back of the net. Dowling made several changes in the half and one of those changes got Kilkenny’s fourth goal of the day, Danielle Morrissey the scorer. Having had trouble beating the home side two years previous in the same venue Kilkenny were clinical and ruthless on Saturday.
Speaking to KCLR after the game, Dowling was delighted to be in the Leinster Final:-
“It’s nice to be in the Final, It’s our first championship game of the year and we wanted to win it and get into the final which I think is in Nowlan Park on Saturday so we wanted to get there, we came up here two years ago and Westmeath put us to the pin of our collar we only pulled away in the last fifteen minutes we said today we have to get our attitude right get the work-rate in and take the scores and I’m delighted that the work-rate was there getting the hooks and blocks in the last 5 minutes that’s what you wanna see, good sign”
“When your favorites for a game, the key thing is to start well and put the foot on the gas right away and we did that and got a couple of goals early on and we were comfortable, we got a bit sloppy for a few minutes but picked it up again before half time. All the forwards were scoring well, and competition for places is really strong and that’s what we want, we’ve lost Miriam Walsh and Mary O’Connell from last year’s forwards Michaela is out injured as well so it’s up to new girls stepping forward, and it’s great to see the two Doyles Kellyann and Aoife playing their first championship together for a long time so its great to see them back on the pitch”
“It’s now always going to be perfect, we know we’re going to have tougher days ahead as well, we said to the girls before the game, it’s easy to get yourself ready for the likes of Cork, Galway, Tipperary, and Waterford it’s the teams that you’re supposed to beat and sometimes we don’t do that we weren’t going to be sloppy today we’re going to have loads of energy and get the work-rate in and that was the case today, it was great to get sixty minutes into Aoife and Kellyann, Katie Power had an injury and was good to get forty minutes into her, the competition is really strong and players know that every jersey is up for grabs”
“We want to play in the final. We won’t have a game for a couple of weeks after that. We’re not playing until June 10th and we haven’t played since the 25th of March so we want to use these games we’re going to have Dublin later on in the group stage as well, we had them in the league, it was a very tough game and we know it’s going to be tough on Saturday. It was great to get the game as it’s hard to get challenge games this time of year. We’ll focus our minds on that one, get a good recovery in during the week and be ready go next Saturday”